Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three points on abortion

-- The Anchoress quotes Sen. Tom Coburn as saying, "We now record fetal heartbeats at 14 days post-conception. We record fetal brainwaves at 39 days post-conception." Coburn, an OBGyn, makes an interesting argument about this, but my focus is in the claim about brainwaves. I had heard that there were measurable brainwaves at 40 days gestation before, but elsewhere, I've read that they're not actually observable until about 25 weeks gestation. I'm more inclined to believe an OBGyn, but does anyone out there have any info on this, and why there are such disparate answers? This raises two points: 1) if there's a functioning brain at 39 days, which is before nearly all abortions are performed, it becomes very difficult to maintain that the fetus is not a living human being, independent of the mother. By "independent" I don't mean that it could survive outside the mother so early. Rather, I mean that the fetus is not merely a part of the mother, but gives every appearance of being a little person in its own right. It has its own organs, including a functioning heart and brain. 2) If there are brainwaves there are very probably pain receptors by the time abortions are actually performed. So an abortion is not merely removing a clump of undifferentiated tissue. It is submitting what gives every appearance of being a helpless human being to a painful death.

-- Closely related, fetuses have been shown to have memories at 30 weeks gestation, and "34-week-old fetuses are able to store information and retrieve it four weeks later." Most abortions, however, are performed long before this point.

-- Also via the Anchoress, President Obama apparently lied to the Pope regarding his commitment to reduce the number of abortions. What is at issue is that, while telling the Pope this, his health care bill would include taxpayer-funded abortion, something that has been shown to increase the number of abortions by 20-35%. The study showing this increase was performed by Planned Parenthood, so it wasn't biased in favor of the pro-life platform.

1 comment:

Tyson said...

The news about Obama and subsidized abortion is very, very discouraging to me. I honestly feel a little sick because I voted for him.